Isata Kanneh-Mason

Isata Kanneh-MasonPhoto by Stuart McIntyre

Isata Kanneh-Mason is one of the most exciting young pianists on the classical music scene today and has performed extensively around the UK and internationally, in concerto appearances and in solo and chamber recital, at such venues as the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Royal Festival Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Zurich Tonhalle, Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, Vancouver Playhouse, Paradiso Amsterdam, King’s Place, and Milton Court. She has performed in the Portland Piano Series, Oregon, the Barbican’s Sound Unbound festival, the Lucerne Festival, Montreux’s September Musicale, the Color of Music Festival, South Carolina, and the Cayman Arts Festival. Together with her six siblings, Isata regularly tours the island of Antigua performing concerts and educational outreach activites as part of the “Playing to Inspire” initiative, in conjunction with the High Commission of Antigua and Barbuda.

Upcoming highlights include appearances at the Wigmore Hall, London, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Festival Saint-Denis, Paris, and an extensive US tour, including a performance at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Isata was a Piano Category Finalist in the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition, winning the Walter Todds Bursary for the most promising musician before the Grand Final. She won the Royal Academy Iris Dyer Piano Prize four times and the 2016 Mrs Claude Beddington Prize for outstanding recital results at the Royal Academy. She is also winner of the 2018 Royal Academy Christian Carpenter Recital Prize, the 2018 Howard Craxton Chamber Music Prize and the 2018 Wilfred Parry (Brahms) Prize. Isata is currently continuing her studies as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Carole Presland, having been awarded the Gwendolyn Reiche Memorial Scholarship.

As an undergraduate at the Royal Academy, Isata held the prestigious Elton John Scholarship, performing with Sir Elton John in Los Angeles in 2013. She also previously held the Elsa and Leonard Cross Scholarship at the Junior Royal Academy, studying piano with Patsy Toh. She won two ABRSM Gold Awards at age 10 and 11 for the highest marks in the UK for Grades 7 and 8 Piano.

Isata has performed several times on television and radio, including on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, BBC Radio 3 RPS Awards, BBC2 Proms Extra, Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Al Jazeera TV, BBC World Service, Channel 4, The One Show, the BBC4 documentary, “Young, Gifted and Classical”, ITV Born To Shine, BBC2 Classroom Heroes, BBC Young Musician, and a documentary for CBS Sunday Morning (USA).

Isata is grateful to The Nottingham Soroptimist Trust, to Mr and Mrs John Bryden, to Frank White, to Awards for Young Musicians and to Sir Elton John.